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July 2014 Brief: Volume 21, Number 19

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Baby, It’s Cold (No Hot!) Outside


by Deborah D. Thornton



Back in January and February all Iowans could say was, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside!” the title of a famous winter song duet from the 1940s. We had snow up to our knees and needed someone to lend us a coat. Now it’s a different story and one which we’re supposed to fear, according to the Obama administration. But is it a true story?


According to the highest temperature ever recorded in Des Moines was 110 degrees Fahrenheit in July of 1936. The lowest temperature ever was -30 degrees Fahrenheit in January 1884.[1] reports historical highs from 76 to 94 degrees during July in Iowa, with the “essentially constant” daily high average around 85 degrees. They note that this is based on data from 1974 to 2012 and that “earlier records are either unavailable or unreliable.”[2] About half of the time our July sky is clear, and about half at least partly cloudy, and most of our rain (4.5 inches) comes in thunderstorms (60 percent).


But global warming extremists and alarmists discount those facts because “weather is different from climate.” They argue that our climate is changing, and that it is humans’ fault. They argue for stricter and stricter controls on our individual rights and decision making in order to stop or correct climate change. They are attempting to convince us that we must give up our rights for the greater good. They want all coal-powered electric plants shut down, are working to end gasoline use, don’t like nuclear plants very much, and only grudgingly agree to natural gas – if it doesn’t use fracking.

Unfortunately, we cannot feed, clothe, or house – and certainly not provide free medical care – to the people of the U.S. and the world without the use of fossil fuels.


Yet, in contrast to their fear-mongering the ice cap in Antarctica has actually been “undergoing a long-term expansion” for the past 35 years. The result is the “greatest ice extent ever” in April 2014. Satellite measurements of both polar ice caps show no decline since 1979, when we began keeping records. The total polar ice is greater than the long-term average – and has been for the past 16 months.[3]

It is well documented that, “The mild warming trend that sparked the global warming scare has ceased for almost two decades, and a mild cooling now appears to be taking place. In recent years the rate of sea-level rise has declined, hurricanes and tornadoes are at record lows, polar sea ice is increasing and blizzards, droughts, and floods are below past extremes. Attributing every extreme of weather to climate change is not reasonable, not science, and not honest,” as Dr. Walter Starck, Ph.D. marine scientist, said following the release of the Obama administration’s National Climate Assessment report in May.[4]


Dr. Starck is a world-renown ocean expert, with a career spanning 50 years. He holds several patents on scientific equipment related to underwater diving and photography, and is responsible for significantly increasing our understanding of tropical coral reefs.


He finds that both the theoretical understanding and factual evidence in support of global warming are “highly uncertain” and “tainted by dubious claims and manipulations” of the data. Starck characterizes the “emergency” claimed by the Obama administration, based on the “average warming of three-quarters of a degree over the past century (amidst a highly variable and extremely noisy record spanning over 100 degrees),” as basically hysteria.[5] He notes that the mild warming trend of 1978 – 1998 followed the mild cooling trend of the previous cycle and that we are now in another cooling cycle.

Starck further elaborates, in support of his position, that of a hundred different climate models, none has been verified, no two agree, and none are able to match – with the data they are using – the actual historical record of temperatures. In other words, Dr. Starck considers the data being used unreliable and the warming/cooling periods to be basically normal.


In real-world terms, until the models are able to recreate the actual record of temperatures recorded in Des Moines, Iowa, over the last 40 years, we shouldn’t believe them – they don’t work.

The 9th International Conference on Climate Change, the world’s biggest gathering of “skeptic,” or maybe “sensible,” scientists, policy experts, and interested citizens, held in Las Vegas, Nevada, July 7 – 9 featured a panel of experts on arctic ice and cold weather.


Basically, they agreed with the song, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.” Not hot, even though they were in Las Vegas. And most Iowans aren’t complaining about the heat either. Our memories aren’t that short and I don’t think we want to go back to January 1884! (-30 degrees Fahrenheit ) January 2014 was cold enough.



[1] “Monthly Averages for Des Moines, Iowa,” The Weather Channel, <> accessed on June 1, 2014.
[2] “Average Weather In July for Des Moines, Iowa, USA,”, <> accessed on June 1, 2014.
[3] James M. Taylor, “Record Antarctic Ice Extent Throws Cold Water On Global Warming Scare,” May 16, 2014, Forbes, <> accessed on June 11, 2014.
[4] Walter Starck, Ph.D., “Heartland Institute Climate Experts Respond to Obama Administration’s Climate Assessment Report,” May 6, 2014, <> accessed on June 11, 2014.
[5] Walter Starck, Ph.D., “Why Climate Change Doesn’t Scare Me,” The Heartland Institute, June 7, 2014, <> accessed on June 12, 2014.


Deborah D. Thornton is a Research Analyst with Public Interest Institute, Mount Pleasant, Iowa. Contact her at


Permission to reprint or copy in whole or part is granted, provided a version of this credit line is used:"Reprinted by permission from INSTITUTE BRIEF, a publication of Public Interest Institute." The views expressed in this publication are those of the author and not necessarily those of Public Interest Institute. They are brought to you in the interest of a better-informed citizenry.




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